Q&A with Health Services Manager, Simone Bursey

Nov 09, 2020

 Seven questions with Health Services Manager, Simone Bursey


What do you do here at Brisbane Youth Service?

I am the manager of the Health Services at BYS. This includes a GP clinic with 2 doctors and a registered nurse, the counselling program with our psychologists, the AOD case management program, the mental health hub which runs therapeutic groups and provides psychosocial support, and last but not least the NDIS transition program.

I think we have a really holistic offering of supports across primary and mental health, AOD, psychosocial and disability needs of young people ?


The best part of your job?

My team! They are so passionate and values driven. We are all so committed to learning together and this translates into best practice when working with young people. We apply evidence-based, innovative and creative approaches to our work with young people, and believe we see great outcomes as we work alongside them.


How does the work you do assist vulnerable young people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage?

Young people who come to us often have very complex issues, requiring multiple supports. A young person coming to our team (and BYS) can be linked into multiple services with a ‘one-stop-shop’ approach which helps them navigate a very tricky service system. They are able to build trust with the workers and regain hope as they work towards recovery together.


What’s the one thing everyone should know about young people and homelessness?

Homelessness is often the ‘end of the line’ for a lot of young people. Homelessness often happens when young people have experienced complex and multiple traumatic experiences, have been let down by many systems designed to protect them and help them thrive, all at a really important stage of their development in life – its not a choice! They are doing the best they can with what they have.

Given the right help, young people will time and time again show us the incredible resilience and growth they are capable of.


What’s the best part of working with young people?

They keep us on our toes! They teach us so much. They make us laugh (and sometimes cry) but most of all they humble us and show us what a difference we can make.


What are some of the main reasons young people seek support?

Young people often seek support at the point when their lives are in crisis and they have nowhere else to go.

Exhausting all other options before seeking help tells us a lot about the mistrust they have in ‘the system’, but also demonstrates resourcefulness and resilience. Crisis will often involve having no access to safe accommodation, and mental health concerns.


Tell us three words that best describe the young people you work with?

Resilient. Delightful. Complex.